Aperture refers to the opening of the lens’s diaphragm. Hence allowing light to travel through to the sensor of the camera and is represented as an F number. The F numbers are called F/Stops and a table of these are shown below. The above F/Stops are full one stop increments. So, when you change an F/stop by one stop it changes the amount of light that is allowed through the diaphragm by half. For example, if we started with F/8 and went to F/11 the amount of light allowed through the diaphragm is halved. If we went to F/5.6 instead the amount of light allowed through the diaphragm is doubled.
This can be confusing to new photographers and takes some time to get your head around. And to make things a little bit more confusing F/Stop can be shown in half or third stops as well. Below is another chart showing half and third stops.
Aperture at Work
Below are 3 example images using the same settings beside the F/Stop which are different by 2 stop.
F/11, 1/100 sec, 100 ISO, 88mm Focal Length
F/5.6, 1/100 sec, 100 ISO, 88mm Focal Length
F/2.8, 1/100 sec, 100 ISO, 88mm Focal Length
Aperture also controls the Depth of Field (DoF) in an image (what is in focus). Thus the lower the F/Stop number (F/2.8) the less that it is in focus. Whereas, the higher the number (F/22) the more that’s in focus. Though the DoF can also be affected by other things such as, focal length and distance from the subject to the background to name a few.
F/2.8, 1/4000 sec, 100 ISO, 85mm
F/8, 1/500 sec, 100 ISO, 85mm
F/16, 1/160 sec, 100 ISO, 85 mm
In the world of photography words like aperture, shutter speed and ISO are the norm. I hope this short post helps eliminate some of the questions you may have had. Please feel free to contact us if you have any camera question.
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